Piaya is a Filipinio delicacy origating from the Negros provinces of the Philippines. It is a flat, unleavened bread which is traditionally filled with muscavado (raw) sugar. It’s one of the most popular products of the Negros region which is actually the sugar capital of the country.
The piaya bread is round, flaky and light. Great to eat as an afternoon snack (termed “merienda”), dessert or for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.
Brown sugar can be substituted for muscavodo although the texture of the filling will turn out differently. I tend to use brown sugar as I have not been able to find muscavado in my region yet. I have to admit I like the “brown sugar piaya“almost as much as the traditional kind. But then again, I like most sweet things 🙂
4 cups plain flour
18 Tbs oil
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
9 Tbs water
9 Tbs oil
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar and oil. Mix well until it forms a dough.
- Divide the dough into 30 portions and set aside. Ensure you allow the dough to rest for at least 20 mins.
- In another bowl, mix the brown sugar and water. Add the flour and oil and mix until the mixture forms a dough. Divide the dough into 30 portions and set aside.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten out one portion of the pastry dough. Fill the pastry with the sugar dough and seal the edges. Roll out and flatten.
- Continue with the remaining pastry dough and filling until you have 30 completed portions.
- Preheat a heavy non stick pan on medium heat.
- Place the piaya on the pan and cook until golden.
I love pastries and the scent of a freshly baked danish or croissant almost brings me to my knees. This much beloved flour concoction stems from the ancient Middle East and from there its popularity spread to medieval Europe when Crusaders brought them back to their native countries. The puff and choux pastries commonly available today were developed by the French and Italian Renaissance chefs. Meanwhile the mouth watering brioches, cream puffs and eclairs that most of us, or at least I, love to ogle were developed by 17th and 18th century European chefs.*
This particular recipe uses puff pastry and you can either make the pastry from scratch, or use the ready rolled 21st century variety available from most grocery stores. I’m modern, so I like the 21st century variety, hehe. Whichever way you choose, this is a delicious treat, particularly served warm with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
10 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry
Chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1/2 cup milk
- Brush a sheet of pastry with the melted butter.
- Spread a layer of the chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Sprinkle some crushed peanuts over the chocolate.
- With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 4 strips lengthwise.
- Taking a strip of pastry, fold it over so that the chocolate mixture is covered.
- Wound the pastry clockwise to resemble a snail shape. Place onto a cookie sheet covered with baking paper.
- Continue with the remaining pastry, chocolate and crushed nuts until finished.
- Whisk the milk and egg together.
- Brush the pastry with the milk and egg mixture.
- Bake the pastry in a preheated oven (170 degrees celsius) until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve warm with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.